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Many of the young Luxembourgers who plan to study abroad for a few years never return to the country they grew up in, saying they find better career opportunities elsewhere and housing they can actually afford.
The trend has some of the hallmarks of a braindrain. More Luxembourg citizens have left the Grand Duchy than returned to it for more than two decades now and the fact that the country has the fastest growing population of all EU nations is explained entirely by an influx of foreigners.
Even though Luxembourg scores highly in attracting foreign talent in surveys, it loses Luxembourg nationals on average. Part of the reason are high housing prices leading people to settle down just across the border.
You may be fresh from university or have spent 25 years slogging for your boss: starting up your own business is always risky.
Yet unlike the image of energetic whizzkids earning a fortune in their twenties – 50-year-old entrepreneurs are almost twice as likely to succeed as 30-year-olds, according to a recent study.
The Luxembourg Times spoke to half a dozen people aged around 50 years, who recently set up their own business after corporate careers. Some could no longer stand the office politics, others lacked a sense of meaning and some started a project they had been thinking of for years.
Luxembourg FinTechs could come under tighter scrutiny to ensure they are properly protecting clients' money and data if proposals by the European Banking Authority come into place.
A lack of coordination between supervisors of different entities, such as technology and banking regulators, could mean companies are more at risk from things like data leaks or an inability to protect clients’ funds.
The EBA, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), are working on guidelines the European Commission can use to issue new rules for these companies, to ensure financial stability and protect consumers.
The guidelines, which are set to be finalised at the start of next year, could prevent future disasters such as the Wirecard scandal, if adopted.
The European Commission has started working on measures to make Luxembourg more attractive for EU institution workers as it seeks a solution for a problem that has increasingly become more urgent, three sources familiar with the matter have said.
One option on the table is a housing allowance for new recruits on the lowest end of the salary grid, two of the sources told the Luxembourg Times.
The recruitment issue was put on the agenda before the summer and the Commission wants to find a solution before the end of the year, two of the sources said. “The Commission has started to act on this,” one of the sources said. “They want come up with a proposal before the end of the year.”
“I feel that there is more attention from Brussels than there used to be,” a second source said. “Hahn seems to be very sensitive [to the issue].”
A study by a Luxembourg research institute has shed light on why young people leave school early in Luxembourg and struggle to access the job market, confirming many issues raised by previous studies, such as the difficult language situation.
Some of the main reasons for leaving school early were due to the multilingual school system, bad relationships with teachers, issues at home, or being on 'discouraging' pathways in the school system, the Liser research institute found in a series of anonymised interviews carried out with school drop-outs.
"I came to Luxembourg after 2010 and then I was put in primary school and then I had to repeat the year [...] I had a bit of difficulty because of the language, because I only speak French and I didn't speak Luxembourgish and German", one of the respondents said.